Radoslaw Rychcik/Stefan Zeromski Theatre: In the Solitude of Cotton Fields
Posted by: Robert Tyree

A few days ago, I saw this video of a Jay-Z concert with crazy amazing effects and it’s been in the back of my mind throughout the festival; like where are those overwhelming intensities?
I’ve been doing at least four hours of performance every day for a week now, so… you know, my art callus is beginning to grow a bit as I come across novelties that aren’t so novel the second piece around. Can’t help but marvel at how trends/streams-in-the-zeitgeist manifest themselves across continents of contemporary artists (last year it was overhead projectors). My patience for mediocrity is exhausted. Each piece is bound to have a few magnificent moments. At this point, I’m honing in on how skillfully (or not) time is being orchestrated to carry the length of the piece.
Dog-gawn, you’d think I was a’livin’ in one of them grand, honkin’ CI-TAY-S.
Yeah, I imagine many of us are starting to raise our bars a bit and calibrate the criteria for what qualifies a work’s success. Often we see time-based pieces where slow, soft, meditative content massages our sensitivities open, like art oral sex, building up an elasticity so that a truly moving POP might emerge in sharp distinction.
We get the opposite with Radoslaw Rychcik/Stefan Zeromski Theatre. THIS IS LOUD AND INTENSE MOST OF THE TIME AND WE GET THE pop in a few, mercifully soft moments bEfOrE WE’RE BACK IN THE BARRAGE! As an audience member I found this refreshing and whole-bodied. The piece plowed down my distracting, egotistical, intellectual tendencies and washed me in some carnal pleasures: screams, syncopated movements, and locked-down techno jams.

I saw Lynch’s Inland Empire in a great cinema with a brutally effective sound system. I’ll never be able to remember one scene from that film. It caused the kind of traumatic affect that I repress just so I can go on living my cool, consistent, predictable life without the anxiety that such an intense trauma might befall me at any moment. (Thankfully, riding the MAX is a relatively safe bet.)
In the Solitude of Cotton Fields is a theater predicated on such intense, raw affect. On stage we find an abandon that scrapes with the ecstatic. Forcefully speaking a vitality that refuses to pretend to represent anything other than its own singular event. Not for the fainthearted.
Kinda like this: